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Investigation involving Kendry Morales was news to the Angels

February 25, 2010 |  8:39 am

Kendry TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels were unaware of an investigation into the disappearance of $300,000 from the bank account of Cuban first baseman Kendry Morales, a story first reported by ESPN.com Wednesday night, but they said the inquiry has nothing to do with why Morales is not yet in camp.

"He is in the process of finalizing some U.S. immigration paperwork," General Manager Tony Reagins said Thursday morning before the team's third full-squad workout. "We expect him any day."

According to the ESPN.com report, both the Major League Baseball Players Assn. and the Coral Springs (Fla.) Police Department are questioning Rodney Fernandez, a former employee of Hendricks Sports Management who recruited both Morales and Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman to the Hendricks firm.

Fernandez, who is not a certified agent, has been accused of making unauthorized withdrawals from Morales’ bank account. He has denied the claim but recently was fired by the Hendricks brothers, Randy and Alan.

Morales, who had a breakout season in 2009, hitting .306 with 34 home runs and 108 runs batted in,  dropped the Hendricks brothers as his agents earlier this month and hired Scott Boras to represent him.

"It is our position that a player's finances and who he chooses to handle his finances is not something that involves the club," Reagins said, when asked if he was concerned the issue might affect Morales' on-field performance.

"He's savvy enough and understands his priorities, and that's being on the field for this club. Obviously, it's an issue for the player, but you're hopeful it's handled properly."

Does Reagins plan to discuss the matter with Morales when he arrives in camp?

"No," he said. "He has representation, he has a union that will address these issues. That's between him and them."

-- Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Kendry Morales. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

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